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16-year-old Jonathan Shore scores again for NYCFC II

The Baby Blues had 5 teenagers in a Starting XI that drew a more experienced Chattanooga FC.

Keep your eye on the ball | New York City FC II

Last night, New York City II’s academy kids flourished in a comeback penalty victory over Chattanooga FC. The Baby Blues overcame a first-half deficit to the former National Independent Soccer Association (NISA) side who fielded a much older and experienced team: The youngest starter for Chattanooga was 22, which was the same age as the oldest starter for NYCFC II.


New York City II: 19 shots, 6 shots on target, 464 passes, 86.8% pass accuracy, 4 saves, 17 fouls 

Chattanooga FC: 10 shots, 5 shots on target, 523 passes, 86.6% pass accuracy, 5 saves, 17 fouls

• Chattanooga FC, Taylor Gray, 8'
• New York City II, Jonathan Shore, 55'

Similar to their opening match against Inter Miami CF II, New York started slowly, conceding the opener in the eighth minute. Chattanooga’s Taylor Grey latched onto a long ball that beat both of NYCFC II’s center backs. Grey’s initial chip attempt was parried by Alexander Rando, however the rebound was easily headed in for the lead.

The first half was dominated by Chattanooga as New York City struggled to maintain any meaningful possession. JJ Jimenez looked like the most threatening player going forward for NYCFC II. The best chance of the half stemmed from his drive into the box before a combination with Maximo Carrizo and Jonathon Shore led to Shore’s strike narrowly missing the uprights. Chattanooga held 59% possession at the break.

Again, in a similar fashion to their opening match in Miami, NYCFC II struck quickly into the second half. In the 54th minute, Carrizo fed Drew Baiera down the right wing, who then delivered a beautiful ball to Shore, whose second effort hit the back of the net. The three teenagers combined for Shore’s second goal in as many games in MLS NEXT Pro.

The rest of the half was all Baby Blues, with striker Taylor Calheira coming close multiple times. One particular chance saw him dummy the ball to himself, taking both of Chattanooga’s center backs out of the play before firing the strike directly at the goalkeeper. The only notable moment from the final minutes of regulation was 16-year-old Maximo Carrizo providing some extras after a tackle to a player 10 years older than him.

In the subsequent penalty shootout that follows any draw in MLS NEXT Pro, Carrizo easily converted his penalty, putting an exclamation point on his excellent performance. Piero Elias, Christopher Tito, and second-half substitute Ronny Arevalo all converted their penalties as well. Taylor Calheira and Chattanooga center-back Anatolie Prepelita both skied their shots, while Rando saved the other attempt to give New York City a second point.

With that penalty shootout win, NYCFC II are on the boards with two points in league play. Pilkington’s squad will now prepare for the Hudson River Derby Jr when they face New York Red Bulls II in the US Open Cup on April 2 at 7:30 pm ET at Belson Stadium. (Tickets are available here.)

On a First Team note, multiple NYCFC II players have been filling out New York City FC head coach Nick Cushing’s squad. Rio Hope-Gund, Carrizo, Baiera, Jacob Arroyave, and Malachi Jones all traveled with the team to face FC Cincinnati last weekend. Jones made his First Team debut after an excellent performance for NYCFC II last weekend against Miami. Cushing has utilized NYCFC II players in past years, and Jones is the first to contribute for both teams so far this season.